Saturday, April 23, 2011
Something strange is happening
"I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.A kind & very devout Roman Catholic I knew shocked her Bible study class by announcing she didn't believe in Hell. Which didn't mean she believed everyone went to Heaven right away, rather that every soul could be redeemed & no one was condemned to eternal damnation. This belief is called Christian Universalism, or universal reconciliation, & dates back to the earliest years of the church. Catholics are permitted to personally hold the belief but not to embrace or preach it as doctrine. The process of Christian salvation is ultimately not a human decision & is a mystery. This ancient homily is an example of that early belief.
From a 4th Century Homily for Holy Saturday, Jesus Descends Into Hell.
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